Love is in the air and what better way to celebrate it than with the films that made us swoon, laugh, cry and fall in love with some of our favorite on-screen romances. Here are four romantic recommendations from time travelling love stories to historical dramas.
1. About Time
Starting off with some fantastical elements, About Time follows Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) and his misadventures in travelling through time attempting to make life easier not only for him, but for his loved ones as well.
I adore this film for utilizing the element of time-travel as a tool for our main character to achieve something as mundane as finding a girlfriend. Right after Tim is told about this special ability that runs through his family, he mentions that for him it was always going to be about love. An aspect I truly loved about the film is that we’re not led to believe Tim and Mary will meet because they’re star crossed lovers, but because in their first meeting they have such a great connection that Tim simply feels it’s a rare thing to find and knows there’s something special between the two.
About Time is full of heart and wonderful characters that you truly care for and can’t help but root for, despite their flaws. There are so many lovely scenes that really tug at your heartstrings, and one of them is the wedding sequence. The wedding reception is an absolutely chaotic due to the horrible weather, but none of that matters because Tim had just married the love of his life – and no heavy rain or strong wind could change that. You just know these two will grow old together and love each other through time and space.
About Time will make you emotional, but will leave you feeling warm and cozy on the inside wishing you could go back in time and experience watching this love story unfold for the first time again.
2. Top End Wedding
Who doesn’t love a good wedding? Family and friends gathering in the ultimate commemoration of love. Lauren and Ned, recently engaged, decide to pull off their dream wedding, but with Lauren’s mom suddenly AWOL the love birds must embark on a journey to the “top end” of Australia to find her in order to get married.
One of the most charming aspects of filmmaker Wayne Blair’s rom-com is the companionship between this couple, and how it emphasizes the importance of not only communicating, but listening to your partner. It’s an overall celebration of love and affection in all forms, whether it be romantic, familial or platonic. We get to explore Lauren and Ned’s relationship to the backdrop of gorgeous landscapes of Australia’s top end. Top End Wedding reminds us that love doesn’t come without its hiccups and uncertainties, and as real and deep as it may be, every relationship will face its trying times.
The true beauty of Top End Wedding is in its core message of the saying: “Home is where the heart is”. It’s where you feel loved, comforted and safe, which makes it a great watch on the special day that commemorates that exact feeling.
3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a French romantic drama by auteur filmmaker Céline Sciamma. Set in the backdrop of 1770’s France, a painter is commissioned to paint a portrait of a bride-to-be, except the painting must be done without the subject even knowing about it.
It’s a must watch this Valentine’s day if you’re looking for a good sob. The film encapsulates the slow yet abrupt act of unexpectedly falling in love when you know it will inevitably come to an end. It punches you not only in the gut, but also in the heart in the best way possible as we watch a mutual desire and fondness grow between an artist and her subject/lover.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire exposes the beauty of who we become when we are in love. How it makes us smile and glow, how much it inspires and moves us to create art. The power that love holds because it propels us to move forward when we, at times, don’t have the strength to do it. With each brush stroke and delicate touch, you’ll find this love story is a beautiful, intricate piece that quite possibly will wreck you. Happy Valentine’s day!
4. La La Land
I still remember when I watched the very first trailer for La La Land. Usually I skip adverts, but this one was… different. Every single element from the trailer had worked in unison to immediately grab my attention: the stunning cinematography, powerful acting, emotional plot, chemistry between Stone and Gosling and the heartbreaking notes of ‘Mia and Sebastian’s Theme’ and ‘City of Stars’. From that day forward I knew I had to go and see this film in theaters.
It was the end of 2016, and I had finally managed to get myself and my friends into that theater for what ended up being two hours of pure silence as we sat there in complete awe of Chazelle’s breathtaking film. The writing was what had drawn me in so much, specifically the way the relationship between Stone’s character, Mia, and Gosling’s character, Sebastian had developed and changed throughout the course of the film. What initially started off as two people who disliked each other, gradually evolved into becoming lovers who supported each other through and through, which then ended in the devastating heartbreak of knowing that the other person moved on, leaving the question of “What could have been?”.
Suffice to say La La Land left me and my friends with tears streaming down our faces, and we couldn’t stop discussing about it for days on end. None of us had experienced that kind of love prior to watching the film, yet we could fully empathize with the characters. In the span of just two hours Chazelle had managed to make us completely fall in love with these two complex characters. After the dust settled, La La Land had climbed the ranks and managed to become my favorite romance film of all time. Love isn’t always happy endings, sometimes we just need to enjoy the love we had for each other before it slips through our fingertips. -Guest Writer Stephanie Franco.